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Meet Harry Nyce - “The Godfather of Race Timing”

by USRowing Video by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | Feb 04, 2016
When Harry Nyce began handling regatta timing systems, he was “writing down numbers at the Eastern Sprints. We sent the times over and put them on big poster boards.”
newnyceWhen Harry Nyce began handling regatta timing systems, he was “writing down numbers at the Eastern Sprints. We sent the times over and put them on big poster boards.”

That was in the 1980s. Nyce has been doing the job since then, long enough to become know as the “Godfather of race timing,” though he said he doesn’t know when he earned that nickname. “I have no idea where that came from,” Nyce said.

It might be that during his career in rowing, race timing was what Nyce has done the most. His career in the sport has also included coaching at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and working as the course director for the Eastern Sprints, but he is best known for his development and implementation of the timing and results systems for multiple regattas and for developing software that has become a cornerstone of the analysis matrix used by the IRA Fairness Commission.

For all of his work in rowing, Nyce was awarded the 2015 USRowing Clayton W. Chapman Award, presented annually to an individual who best emulates Chapman’s 30-year stewardship of the Eastern Sprints and IRA Championship Regattas, the awardee is an individual who has consistently served in behind-the-scene administrative roles that have previously gone unrecognized.

nyce4For Nyce, rowing is something he has loved since he first touched an oar. “It’s just something I really enjoy,” Nyce said during an interview at the 2015 USRowing Annual Convention, were he was honored.

“It’s the first sport that I spend a lot of time in and something I just sort of connected to. Even from when I was first rowing. I was never in the first boat of anything, but I just enjoyed being on the water and doing the coaching,” he said. “It’s something I just fell into and really liked.”

Listen to what Nyce had to say about his being a part of rowing, the development of race timings systems and on receiving the Chapman Award.


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